Cerenia for Dogs

The Cerenia injection for dogs works well for treating acute vomiting and motion sickness.


Cerenia is a lovely little wonder drug for vomiting in dogs. It works by blocking a neurotransmitter in the brain that triggers the vomiting reflex, and it works really well. Cerenia is FDA-approved to treat uncomplicated, acute vomiting (in dogs and puppies 8 weeks or older) as well as to prevent motion sickness (in dogs and puppies 16 weeks or older).

The Cerenia injection for dogs is a particularly fabulous therapeutic modality for acutely vomiting dogs. Sometimes when dogs are vomiting, they can’t hold anything down, including the medications that could help them. When your veterinarian gives your dog Cerenia by injection, it bypasses the GI tract, is rapidly absorbed systemically, and gets your dog feeling better as quickly as possible. Sometimes it feels like a miracle drug.

You should never use Cerenia without consulting your veterinarian first. There are times when the ability to vomit can be lifesaving for dogs. For example, if a toxin has been ingested or if the dog has an intestinal blockage. If your dog is vomiting, your veterinarian will take a careful history, do a thorough physical exam and any diagnostics deemed necessary to be sure it’s safe and appropriate before administering Cerenia.

Cerenia Dosage for Dogs

Cerenia dosage for dogs is different depending on what is being treated. For acute vomiting, the injectable dose is 1 milligram per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg BW). The oral dose for acute vomiting is 2 mg/kg BW. This means the oral dose for a 50-pound dog (22.7 kg) would be 45 mg. Cerenia comes in 16, 24, 60, and 160 mg tablets. Your veterinarian will round your dog’s dose to the nearest half tablet. So, this 50-pound dog would take two 24 mg tablets once a day for up to 5 days for acute vomiting. One dose lasts for 24 hours.

Cerenia dosage for prevention of motion sickness is much higher at 8 mg/kg BW. That means that same 50-pound dog’s dose would be 180 mg. Most veterinarians would likely dispense one 160 mg tablet for this dog. The dose should be given at least 2 hours before travel with just a little bite of food. Dogs with motion sickness do better without a full stomach. Again, each dose lasts 24 hours.

Side Effects of Cerenia for Dogs

Side effects of Cerenia for dogs are uncommon, but allergic reactions, decreased appetite, and drooling have been reported. Weight loss has been reported with chronic usage. Side effects are more likely to occur with the higher dosages used for preventing motion sickness.

Side effects of the Cerenia injection, again, are not common but include pain and swelling at the injection site. Caution is advised when using Cerenia in dogs with heart or liver problems.

Cerenia has been a super useful tool for practicing veterinarians who treat vomiting dogs on a regular basis, and a godsend for pet owners whose dogs get carsick when traveling.

As with other medications, veterinarians may use Cerenia off-label for other medical conditions, with informed consent from the pet owner. Some examples might include pets with chronic kidney disease or pets undergoing chemotherapy. Cerenia is frequently used pre-anesthetically to prevent peri-operative vomiting in dogs.


  1. Can’t help but think the best dog mom’s and dad’s would avoid car travel and spare their pup the stress to begin with if it caused the issues in the first place. The side effects (for human drugs as well) are always somewhat blown off as rare or no big deal…but if it’s you or your pup, they can be as big a deal as the reason the drug was taken in the first place, imo.

  2. My original messages concerns cerenia. I also found a similar blog
    about metronidazole. PLEASE! These and other drugs may work
    magically for some dogs but not all. Please go to Washington State
    University site for MDR1 study. Cerenia is one of the drugs that will
    kill collies. It has killed at least 2 of mine before WSU even found
    the connection. Please research these drugs that you are highly
    recommending and at least qualify your remarks for any dogs
    that could have a fatal reaction.
    Alice Roth

    One of my previous emails to WDJ:
    On 4/21, I received a blog article via email that I responded to
    customer service. I couldn’t find/figure out how to respond
    directly. I have not heard back anything. Cerenia is a
    wonderful drug for many dogs. Unfortunately, some it will
    kill. I’ve lost at least 2 collies to it. Washington State University conducted a study of dogs (collies) with a genetic
    disease called MDR1. They maintain a list of drugs that
    are fatal, cerenia is one. This is important for collie owners
    to know, especially when so highly recommended. Please
    update your articles and please respond. I don’t know how
    to add something to the blog or I would have.
    Please respond!

  3. Robin,
    My current dog was said by previous owner to vomit every time he
    rode in a car. Indeed he did vomit on our way home. He has not
    vomited in a car since. Past dogs I’ve had did not vomit in the car
    either. I changed his food,control the amount of food (and snacks)
    he gets and if/when possible do not feed him right before taking a
    trip. If we have to, I feed him consistently at the same times
    morning and evening so if I can’t wait, we drive slowly and I sit
    with him if he needs me to. For diarrhea, I use mostly pumpkin.
    If I change food, I add pumpkin for a few meals. If stool gets
    soft, I add pumpkin and cut back a spoonful or so of food for a
    few meals. Now, granted there might be times you need
    something more. Collies also can’t have immodium, anesthetic,
    and other meds, so one has to find other things cause it’s really hard to lose them.